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tv   Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans  CNN  June 17, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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are dealing with here in orlando. the people who lost their lives in my club over the shoulder here. stay with cnn for the continuing coverage of the massacre here. i'm don lemon. breaking news this morning. new information on the orlando club killer's wife. texting with her husband during the attack as investigators ask were warning signs missed? president obama meeting with victims and families in orlando calling for future gun measure. will lawmakers hear his pleas? good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans in new york. >> and i'm victor blackwell in orlando. friday, june 17th.
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4:00 a.m. here in orlando. breaking news this morning. new information about the orlando nightclub massacre. the question that investigators are working to answer. were warning signs about the gunman missed? this as president obama travels to orlando to offer support and help the traumatized city recover. we are learning that omar mateen texting with his wife during the occurrence asking if she saw the news. the question of what noor salman may have known about her husband's plans. it is still too early to say whether she or anyone else will face charges. we are learning more about mateen's visit to the gun shop where he tried to buy military-grade body armor. employees reported the suspicious activity to the fbi. joining me now is polo sandoval.
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good morning. >> good morning, victor. yesterday, we heard from officials who confirmed that the gunman was likely using his phone to facebook during the shooting. we learned he used it to text his wife. one of the key witnesses in the case. the gunman texting his wife to see if she had seen the news. noor salman reported and texting saying i love you and didn't get a response. it is important to point out the texts were exchanged at 4:00 a.m. two hours into the pulse nightclub shooting. clearly, investigators are taking a good look at her version of events as they continue to compile evidence. evidence presented to a grand jury. now usually grand juries meet
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monday through friday. it is possible we do not hear the final decision as to whether or not noor salman will be charged in the case. we will not hear that until next week. we will look out for that today. we are learning new information about the gunman and his attempts to allegedly purchase body armor. my colleague, drew griffin had an opportunity to speak to the owner of the gun shop in jensen beach which is south of ft. pierce, florida. he told the fbi that he initially called in suspicious individuals trying to purchase body armor. this was several weeks before the shooting. investigators did look into that and determined it was several foreign police officers. that wasn't necessarily suspicious. then as they closed the case, one gun shop employee told investigators about another individual who was trying to purchase level three ammunition.
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investigators asked for some surveillance video. however, that wasn't necessarily provided. i want you to listen to what one of the employees at the gun shop in jensen beach told drew griffin. >> our salesman got concerned about it and informed me we do not have this body armor. at this time, he pulled away and got on to the cell phone. when he was on the cell phone, he had a conversation in a foreign language. that was more concerning. then he came back and he was requesting ammo. he wanted bulk ammo only. at that time he declined any business and left the store. we had no link or contact. we did contact authorities and let them know we just had a suspicious person that was in here. >> so again, hearing from an individual who works at another gun shop that is now in the picture upon this investigation.
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there were red flags, victor, but were they enough to actually prevent something like this? that is the key question and the other is, victor, the wife of the gunman be the first person be charged in this case? >> the question, of course, that everyone is asking, if you see something, will you say something? we know the store owners did that. no name for the investigators to go after mateen. polo, thank you. let's talk about the president's visit. president obama and vice president joe biden spent most of the day in orlando. the president has done this after previous mass shootings. president obama consoled victims and families. offering support to a stricken city. the president and vice president laid roses at the memorial to the victims. they met with survivors and families members. with the staff of the pulse
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nightclub as well as medical personnel. >> so today, once again, as has been true too many times before, i held and hugged grieving family members and parents and they asked why does this keep happening. and they pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage. they don't care about the politics. neither do i. >> president obama's visit offering some comfort to a city deep in mourning now. as this mother whose son died, sympathy, even from the president, only goes so far. >> he came and i said thank you for coming and being compassionate to the community.
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really, what can you really say? you know? his words will not make me feel better and not bringing back me my son. i was just happy that he was showing compassion. you sit there and hear people talking, but you don't know what they are saying. my mind's focused on when i get home. i have to start making funeral arrangements. i'm worried about what church and this. you know, my nightmare hasn't even begun yet. >> joining me to talk about how the city is coping in the aftermath is paul brinkman. thank you for being with us. let's start with president obama's visit. the president came to offer condolences and compassion. he admitted few promises of
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change could be made. what was the real impact of the president and vice president's visit here? >> it appears to be too common and offer support and consolation for the community. and obviously it is part of his role as commander in chief and leader of the country. >> this is the tenth time the president has had to do this. it becomes the gut-wrenching part of the office. people want more than just that. >> they do. i think if he started promising that, it's not actually -- it's in his power to continue to push for it and continue to show up, but it's not in his power to actually make that change or some of those changes that many people believe are necessary to address it. >> talk to me about the impact
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of the shooting on this community. it has been split with people i spoken with. some said we are resilient. we will not bow down to terrorists. this city will be what it always has been. some say it will change the community forever. what do you see? >> yeah, i think both are true. it will change the community forever. it was historic event and the largest mass shooting in u.s. history. people are going to have to think differently whether that means we, you know, there's no sign yet it will have tremendous impact on number of people that come here. things are changing already where we have seen local politicians say we need to be defined as an area as a terrorism risk and we need to get adequate funding here. those are things that have already changed immediately. there are some people who are strong in the face of disaster
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like this. there are others who are in shock and can't deal with it. >> let's talk about funding because there has been this outpouring of support from individuals across the country. from multinational corporations offering small donations. seven figures to this one orlando fund. when mayor buddy dyer came out on monday and announced that would go to community organizations, there was a fierce and scathing backlash almost immediately. >> yes. it actually came from a group that is a very somber group. a group of survivors and family members of other mass shootings. >> sandy hook and boston attack as well. in their cases, so little of the money went to them. went to the victims and the need continues. there's been a change. what has that change been? >> we're up to a total of about
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$12 million now between one orlando and go fund me pages. the large campaigns on go fund me. the change that they first announced was one orlando was to donate only to other non-profits. one of the reasons i'm told that they would do that is because some people view it as more legitimate. you can also write it off on your taxes. but the survivors of the other shootings said with that structure there's too many layers. too many administrative staffs. what winds up happening the money doesn't make it to the victims and families in time to make a difference. >> one more thing before i let you go quickly. typically after these and i've covered and we've covered too many of these. there are many similarities. community events sponsored by
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the city. a memorial. i have heard no plans here in orlando. have you? >> we have the vigil in front of the center. there is a memorial or makeshift where the president laid the wreath. >> nothing in an arena. nothing on a large scale event? >> there was talk that obama would do that at the amway center. i don't know if there are concerns about security or not. >> paul brinkman, thank you. the president as you heard pleading for new gun control, but will it actually happen? what is being said at washington and on the campaign trail? will those turn into action? next.
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welcome back to "early start." senator john mccain is
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attempting to clarify his comments. the arizona senator claims he misspoke when he said the president was quote directly responsible for that mass shooting. listen to his original remarks. >> president obama is directly responsible for it. when he pulled everybody out of iraq, al qaeda went to syria and became isis and isis is what it is today. thanks to barack obama's failures. >> the comment triggered outrage among democrats. mccain released a statement saying that the policies led to orlando. and trump told supporters in texas he will protect their second amendment rights if he becomes president. he is predicting a big win in the lone star state in november. we have more from sara murray. >> reporter: good morning,
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victor and christine. donald trump spent a majority of his time here running through victories. he did manage to fit in swipes against hillary clinton as well as president obama. saying the president has been too focused on gun control measures in the wake of the orlando massacre. >> i just watched president obama -- [ crowd boos ] >> he does it a lot. we have one after another. it is a tough situation. he's largely, to a large extent, he's blaming guns. [ crowd boos ] >> and i'll save your second amendme amendment, folks. totally. [ crowd cheers ] >> and hillary wants to abolish the second amendment. remember that. more sophisticated than that,
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but the end result will be she will abolish the second amendment. remember that. just remember that. okay. just remember that. she's now trying to come back a little bit. she can't come back because bernie's over there and others are over there and actually bernie is better on that issue than she is from our standpoint. >> reporter: of course, hillary clinton never said she would abolish the second amendment. that is the message that could resonate in deep red texas. this is not a traditional campaign stop. it is a safe bet the republican will win the state in november. it is a reliable cash cow. that is what trump will be doing here. hitting up a couple of fund-raisers. they hope to raise north of $6 million. back to you. >> sara murray, thank you. the cia warning that the obama administration's strategy to stop isis is not working, but
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dozens of state department officials and what they are demanding next.
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welcome back to "early start." i'm christine romans. cia director john brennan says despite gains on the battle field, coalition forces have not carried out, but inspired terror attacks. isis continues to adjust strategy to remain operational with support from a global network. he calls the radicalization an exceptionally challenging issue
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for the intelligence community. more than 50 state department officials want the obama administration want to carry out strikes against the assad regime. they signed an internal memo claiming a leadership in syria is the only way to defeat isis. the memo circulated through the state department's dissent channel where officials can offer views without fear of reprisal. a member of the british parliament has been murdered. 41-year-old jo cox shot and killed thursday outside a library as she was leaving a meeting near the town of leeds. cox was a rising star in the labour party. a 52-year-old suspect thomas mayer is in custody. mayer is a supporter of the alliance. a neo-nazi alliance in the u.s.
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no motive has been established. time for an early start on your money. a good start to markets. asi asian markets closed higher. the dow snapping a five-day losing streak yesterday. it gained 93 points. s&p and nasdaq closed higher. smith & wesson is selling more guns than ever. it reported more than a 22% increase in firearm sales. these latest numbers include sales through the end of april. it is typical for gun manufacturers to see huge spikes in sales after mass shootings. consumers fear tighter gun laws will limit access to firearms. they literally rush out and buy guns. after the shooting in san bernardino, smith & wesson sales jumped 61%. president obama in orlando.
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comforting victims as relearn new information about the gunman and what he was doing during that massacre. we're live next.
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new information on the orlando club massacre. the gunman texting with his wife during the attack. what did she know? plus, were warning signs missed? what one gun store owner said before the shooting. and president obama meets with families of the orlando shooting. demanding stricter gun safety. will anything change? welcome back to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm victor blackwell. breaking news. new information about the massacre. were warning signs about the gunman missed? hopefully those questions will
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be answered soon as president obama traveled to orlando to offer support. we are learning that omar mateen texting with his wife asking her if she had seen the news. the fbi still investigating what the wife, noor salman, may have known about her husband's plans. it is too early to say if she or anyone else will taface charges. we learned more about mateen where he learned to buy military-grade body armor. the gun store said they reported the suspicious activity to the fbi. let's go to polo sandoval with more. >> we are learning he used his phone to facebook and then also
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to contact his wife in the middle of the massacre. let's take you back to june 12th. four hours into the shots were fired not far from where i'm standing. investigators believed the gunman texted his wife asking if she had seen the news. this all playing out during the shooting amid the carnage when investigators believe she tried to contact him and even text him i love you. the question is how much did she know leading up to the telephone conversation and of course the texting as well. now police are fairly confident that there was a point when he stopped responding during that confrontation with police. of course, the question what investigators hope to answer is how much did she know? she had told the fbi her husband planned to carry out some kind of attack. did she know it would be this attack. the one that happened this past
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weekend. that is yet to be determined. a grand jury will have to decide if she will face charges. also new information coming south of our location. as investigators now continue to dig deep. they are now telling us there is another gun shop that is coming into the picture. a worker, employee at a gun shop in jensen beach south of where the gunman lived with his wife is reporting he reached out to the fbi in the weeks leading up to the shooting reporting several suspicious individuals purchasing police equipment. investigators looked into that and later determined it was several foreign police officers. it was not suspicious activity. then as they were closing that case, another interesting turn as an employee at that gun shop? jensen beach told investigators there was another individual trying to purchase level three body armor. eventually employees at the shop did not sell it, but still g
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getting involved. listen to what they told my colleague drew griffin. >> just informed him they do not have this body armor. at this time, he pulled away and got on the cell phone. when he was on the cell phone, he had a conversation in a foreign language that was more concerning. he came back and requesting ammo. he wanted bulk ammo only. at that time, he declined any business and he left the store. we had no link, no contact. we didn't know who he was. we did contact authorities and let them know we just had a suspicious person in here. >> despite that encounter red flagged, it did not lead to a lot of information of license plate or if it was the gun man himself. this does speak to a several
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level of alertness. people in the gun shop noticed something and saw something and they said something. this is what law enforcement wants you to do. not just here, but throughout the country as the investigation moves into day six. we can't forget about the community, victor, many people getting ready to bury their loved ones. community that is still grieving and searching for answers. victor. >> funerals starting this morning in a few hours. polo, thank you. president obama and vice president biden spent most of the day here in orlando. as he has after previous mass shootings, the president consoled victims and survivors' families offering support to a grief-stricken city. the president and vice president laid roses at memorials. met with family members of victims and survivors and members of the pulse nightclub
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as well as medical staff. he said he can offer them few changes. >> today as has been true too many times before i held and hugged grieving family members and parents and they asked why does this keep happening. and they pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage. they don't care about the politics. neither do i. >> president obama's visit offering some comfort to a city deep in mourning today. as this mother you are about to meet whose son died in the massacre told cnn's don lemon, sympathy, even from the president, only goes so far. >> yes, he came and i said thank you for coming and being compassionate to this community. but really what can you really
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say? you know, his words aren't going to make me feel better and definitely not bringing back my son. i was just happy he was showing compassion. you sit there and you hear people talking, but you don't know what they're saying. my mind's focused on when i get home i have to start making funeral arrangements. i'm worried about what church and this and my nightmare hasn't even begun yet. >> joining me now to talk about how the city is coping and aftermath of the attack is paul brinkman. senior business reporter as "the orlando sentinel." first, paul, how was the president received here? >> we saw crowds lining up along the streets. there were not a lot of public venues where the public could
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come and listen to him or interact with him. you know, we kind of thought there might be an event like that at some point. >> city sponsored event where the president would speak? >> there was talk about that before he came that he might actually go to amway center, the arena here. that didn't happen. i don't think we have good information on why that didn't happen. you know, mayor teresa jacobs said his being here was huge to show recognition of what the community's going through. >> and stand in solidarity with the people here. >> yeah. somebody made a comment to us that they felt safe while he was here which i thought was interesting. that the community has been traumatized and in shock and that having the commander in chief here with the large security presence that he had, i guess made people feel like for the time he was here, they were
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safe. >> still, a palpable feeling of some fear and threat here? >> there is. there is good reason for that. the government has warned that during the month of ramadan people should be vigilant. that is apparently the month when people, you know, some people take on the jihad mentality. >> we know there has been that call from the spokesperson from isis in ramadan in past years, to ramp up the attacks. let's talk about pulse nightclub. we are about a block away from it. any plans to reopen a pulse nightclub even if it is not in that spot? >> yeah. they want to. the owner wants to. the owner, by all accounts, is still very much in shock. she has given some public statements, but it has been very limited. the statement is that they do
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want to reopen pulse in some form. they are not sure what form that would take. they are not sure whether the building is structurally sound. there would be a lot of questions whether the scene of 49 deaths like that would be appropriate place for a nightclub anymore. what is pretty certain is there will be a memorial there. officials, local officials expressed support for that and said they would support that. they are supposedly getting support from around the world for that. money, construction services, sculpture. >> there are some people who are of the mind to say we are going to go on with our lives and continue to have a great time. there are some reference. i guess that continues. paul, thank you. in days, the senate is set to vote on gun control measures.
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senator john mccain is attempting to clarify his comments blaming president obama for the terrorist attack in orlando. the arizona senator says he misspoke when the president was directly responsible for the mass shooting there. listen to his original remarks. >> barack obama is directly responsible for it. when he pulled everybody out of iraq, al qaeda went to syria and became isis and isis is what it is today thanks to barack obama's failures. >> that comment triggered outrage among democrats. mccain released a statement meaning to say the policies led to the attack in orlando. donald trump is attacking the president for the gun safety
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in the wake of the orlando shooting. he told thousands of supporters at a rally in texas he will protect their second amendment rights if he becomes president. he is predicting a big win in november in the lone star state. more from cnn's sara murray. >> reporter: good morning, victor and christine. donald trump ran through his greatest hits of primary victories. he managed to fit in swipes against hillary clinton as well as president obama. saying the president has been too focused on gun control measures in the wake of the orlando massacre. >> i just watched president obama. [ crowd boos ] >> and he does it a lot. he does it a lot because we have one after another. we have tragedy after tragedy. it's a tough situation. but he's largely, to a large extent, he is blaming guns. [ crowd boos ] >> and i'm going to save your
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second amendment, folks. i'm going to save your second amendment. [ crowd cheers ] >> totally. and hillary wants to abolish the second amendment. remember that. more sophisticated than that. the end result is she wants to abolish the second amendment. just remember that. just remember that. she is now trying to come back a little bit, but she can't come back because bernie's over there and others are over there. actually bernie is better on that issue than she is from our standpoint. >> reporter: of course, hillary clinton has never said she would abolish the second amendment. that is the message that could resonate in texas. this is not a traditional campaign rally stop for a presidential candidate. it is a safe bet the republican will win the state in november. it is a reliable cash cow. that is what trump is doing here. that is what he is doing on
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friday. hitting up a couple of fund-raisers in the area. one source tells me between three events, they hope to raise north of $6 million. >> thank you, sara. on monday, the senate will vote on new bills. two from republicans and two from democrats. it will make it harder to buy firearms. it bars people on watch lists to buy firearms. >> reporter: we hear the white house almost every day to take action on this issue. especially now, obviously. the good news at this point is there is a desire out there on both sides of the aisle to come up with something. to possibly tweak something in the law. there's talk of making changes. maybe making it harder for people who are on a terror watch list to get hands on weapons. maybe it is more narrow. maybe it is people who are on a no-fly list.
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there is talk of compromise out there. the problem is as these bills are being proposed in the senate right now, on both sides of the aisle, they are at the stage where they are duelling bills. there are votes scheduled this coming week, but at this point, it doesn't look like they will pass. not any of them. some democrats and republicans have a desire to change something, they are really stalemated on how to make the changes and how broad the changes will be. so until there is not just talk of compromise, but real action on compromise and that could still happen, it doesn't look like there will be any real changes at least not in the very near future. victor and christine. >> michelle kosinski, thank you. breaking overnight. bernie sanders promising he will work with hillary clinton to defeat donald trump without ever quite saying his own campaign is over. in a live video stream thursday,
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sanders made clear he is staying in the race to ensure his followers' voices are heard at the democratic convention. sanders also said he will help clinton stop trump. >> the major political task that together we face in the next five months is to make certain that donald trump is defeated and defeated badly. i personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time. >> sanders did not expand on how he will help clinton, but we do know it will not be as her running mate. according to a democrat familiar with clinton's decision. a source close to sanders said he was not expecting to be considered. the cia warning the obama administration's strategy to fight isis is not working. what dozens of state department officials are now demanding. next.
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cia director john brennan offering a sobering assessment of the two-year coalition to defeat isis. coalition forces have failed to disrupt the ability to carry out the inspired terror attacks. isis continues to adjust strategy to remain operational with support from a global network. he calls the radicalization of so-called lone wolf attackers an exceptionally challenging issue for the intelligence community. more than 50 state department officials want the obama administration to carry out military strikes against the assad regime in syria. they all signed an internal memo. the memo circulated through the state department's dissent channel where officials can offer alternative views without fear of reprisal. a member of the british parliament murdered in england.
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41-year-old jo cox shot and killed outside a library as she was leaving the town of leeds. she was considered a rising star in the labour party. she was a fear advocate for refugees and britain to stay in the european union. the suspect identified in the media as thomas mayer is in custody. this comes over controversy over the brexit. witnesses say the attacker shouted but britain first. the southern poverty law center says mayer subscribed to a neo-nazi organization. the referendum in the u.k. has been suspended in the wake of her death. on to this. the cockpit voice recorder from egyptair flight 804 has been recovered, but damaged. the information in the black box
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could determine what brought the jetliner down. u.s. officials say the team from the ntsb, including a black box specialist is leaving for cairo to assist with the investigation. the flight data recorder still has not been found. the city of charleston, south carolina remembering nine lives lost one year ago today. the first anniversary of the mother emanuel church shooting will hold a service. the church has designated tuesday, june 17th, act of kindness day and share it on facebook. scary moments for meatloaf as he collapses on stage in canada. cell phone videos shows the singer tosses his microphone down and he falls to the floor.
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meatloaf canceled a show earlier for illness this week. no official word on his condition. we wish him well. time for an early start on your money. markets around the world. asian markets closed higher. u.s. stock futures barely moving. the dow snapping the five-day closing streak. yesterday, gained 93 points. s&p and nasdaq higher. smith & wesson selling more guns than ever. a 22% increase in firearms sales. it is typical for gun manufacturers to see a spike in sales again after mass shootings. consumers fear tighter gun laws limit access to firearms. after the shooting in san bernardino in december, smith & wesson sales jumped 61%. "early start" continues right now.
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>> breaking news this morning. new information on the orlando club killer's wife texting with her husband during the attack as investigators ask were warning signs missed? president obama meeting with victims and families in orlando calling for gun control to prevent future tragedies. will lawmakers hear his pleas? good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans in new york. >> i'm victor blackwell in orlando. it's friday, june 17th. now 5:00 a.m. here in orlando. the breaking news this morning, new information about the orlando nightclub massacre. were warning signs about the gunman missed? this as president obama travels to orlando to offer his support and to help his traumatized city recover. we are learning that gunman omar mateen

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